WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has denied a plea from the Cherokee father of the girl at the center of a drawn-out custody fight to step back into the case.
The court issued a brief order Friday turning away a request from Dusten Brown who is fighting the adoption of his 3-year-old daughter by a South Carolina couple. Brown cited a 1978 law to keep Indian children from being placed with non-Indian adoptive or foster parents.
The justices did not comment on their action, although Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor noted that they would have granted Brown's request.
A state judge on Wednesday finalized the South Carolina couple's adoption of 3-year-old Veronica. The Supreme Court ruled in June that South Carolina courts should determine the girl's placement.
The Cherokee Nation released this statement:
We are extremely disappointed that the United States Supreme Court denied our application to stay the enforcement of the South Carolina Supreme Court order, which ruled to immediately finalize the adoption of Veronica. The original decision of the United States Supreme Court did not mandate the removal of Veronica from her father, family and tribe. However, instead of clarifying their original decision, the United States Supreme Court has washed their hands of this case. The majority of the United States Supreme Court reversed this case with little to no thought about what would happen to Veronica when the case was remanded to the lower court, and apparently still care very little about what is best for her. While Veronica may not have a right to a determination of her best interests under South Carolina or federal law, she does have that right under Oklahoma and Cherokee Nation law.
--Chrissi Nimmo, Assistant Attorney General for the Cherokee Nation
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